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           multixterm [ args ]


           Multixterm creates multiple xterms that can be driven together or sepa-
           In its simplest form, multixterm is run with no arguments and  commands
           are  interactively  entered in the first entry field.  Press return (or
           click the "new xterm" button) to create a new xterm running  that  com-
           Keystrokes  in  the "stdin window" are redirected to all xterms started
           by multixterm.  xterms may be driven separately simply by  focusing  on
           The  stdin  window must have the focus for keystrokes to be sent to the
           xterms.  When it has the focus, the color changes  to  aquamarine.   As
           characters  are entered, the color changes to green for a second.  This
           provides feedback since characters are not echoed in the stdin  window.
           Typing  in  the  stdin  window  while holding down the alt or meta keys
           sends an escape character before the typed characters.   This  provides
           support for programs such as emacs.


                  -xa The  optional  -xa  argument  indicates arguments to pass to
                  -xc The optional -xc argument indicates a command to be  run  in
                      each  named xterm (see -xn).  With no -xc argument, the com-
                      mand is the current shell.
                  -xd The optional -xd argument indicates a  directory  to  search
                      for  files  that will appear in the Files menu.  By default,
                      the directory is: ~/lib/multixterm
                  -xf The optional -xf argument indicates a file  to  be  read  at
                      startup.  See FILES below for more info.
                  -xn The  optional  -xn argument indicates a name for each xterm.
                      This name will also be substituted for any %n in the command
                      argument (see -xc).
                  -xv The  optional  -xv  flag puts multixterm into a verbose mode
                      where it will describe some of the things it is doing inter-
           FILE below).


           The  following command line starts up two xterms using ssh to the hosts
           bud and dexter.
                multixterm -xc "ssh %n" bud dexter


           Command files may be used to drive or initialize multixterm.  The  File
           menu  may be used to invoke other files.  If files exist in the command
           file directory (see -xd above), they will  appear  in  the  File  menu.
           Files  may also be loaded by using File->Open.  Any filename is accept-
           able but the File->Open browser defaults to files with a .mxt suffix.
           Files are written in Tcl and may change any  variables  or  invoke  any
           procedures.   The  primary  variables  of interest are 'xtermCmd' which
           identifies the command (see -xc) and 'xtermNames' which is  a  list  of
           names  (see  -xn).  The procedure xtermStartAll, starts xterms for each
           name in the list.  Other variables and procedures may be discovered  by
           examining multixterm itself.


           The  following  file does the same thing as the earlier example command
                # start two xterms connected to bud and dexter
                set xtermCmd "ssh %n"
                set xtermNames {bud dexter}


           At startup, multixterm reads ~/.multixtermrc if present.  This is simi-
           lar  to  the  command files (see FILES above) except that .multixtermrc
           may not call xtermStartAll.  Instead it is called  implicitly,  similar
           to the way that it is implicit in the command line use of -xn.
           The  following  example .multixtermrc file makes every xterm run ssh to
           the hosts named on the command line.
                set xtermCmd "ssh %n"
           Then multixterm could be called simply:
                multixterm bud dexter
           If any command-line argument does not  match  a  multixterm  flag,  the
           remainder of the command line is made available to .multixtermrc in the


           Aliases may be used to store lengthy command-line invocations.  Command
           files can be also be used to store such invocations as well as  provid-
           ing a convenient way to share configurations.
           Tcl  is  a general-purpose language.  Thus multixterm command files can
           be extremely flexible, such as loading hostnames from other programs or
           files  that may change from day-to-day.  In addition, command files can
           be used for other purposes.  For example, command files may be used  to
           prepared common canned interaction sequences.  For example, the command
           to send the same string to all xterms is:
               xtermSend "a particularly long string"
           The File menu (torn-off) makes  canned  sequences  particularly  conve-
           nient.   Interactions could also be bound to a mouse button, keystroke,
           or added to a menu via the .multixtermrc file.
           The following .multixtermrc causes tiny xterms to tile across and  down
           the  screen.   (You may have to adjust the parameters for your screen.)
           This can be very helpful when dealing with large numbers of xterms.
               set yPos 0
               set xPos 0
               trace variable xtermArgs r traceArgs
               proc traceArgs {args} {
                   global xPos yPos
                   set ::xtermArgs "-geometry 80x12+$xPos+$yPos -font 6x10"
                   if {$xPos} {
                       set xPos 0
                       incr yPos 145
                       if {$yPos > 800} {set yPos 0}
                   } else {
                       set xPos 500
           The xtermArgs variable in the code above is the variable  corresponding
           to the -xa argument.
           xterms  can  be  also  be created directly.  The following command file
           creates three xterms overlapped horizontally:
               set xPos 0
               foreach name {bud dexter hotdog} {
                   set ::xtermArgs "-geometry 80x12+$xPos+0 -font 6x10"
                   set ::xtermNames $name
                set xtermNames [exec ypcat $argv]
           The following hardcodes two sets of hosts, so that you can call multix-
           term with either "cluster1" or "cluster2":
                switch $argv {
                       cluster1 {
                           set xtermNames "bud dexter"
                       cluster2 {
                           set xtermNames "frank hotdog weiner"


           It is worth comparing multixterm to  xkibitz.   Multixterm  connects  a
           separate  process  to each xterm.  xkibitz connects the same process to
           each xterm.


           Multixterm provides no way to remotely control scrollbars, resize,  and
           most other window system related functions.
           Because  xterm  has  no  mechanism  for propagating size information to
           external processes, particularly  for  character  graphic  applications
           (e.g.,  vi,  emacs),  you  may have to manually ensure that the spawned
           process behind each xterm has the correct size.  For  example,  if  you
           create  or  set  the  xterm to a size, you may have to send an explicit
           stty command with the correct size to the spawned process(es).   Alter-
           natively,  you  can add the correct size argument when an xterm is cre-
           ated (i.e., "-geometry 80x20").
           Multixterm can only control  new  xterms  that  multixterm  itself  has
           As  a  convenience,  the File menu shows a limited number of files.  To
           show all the files, use File->Open.


           $DOTDIR/.multixtermrc   initial command file
           ~/.multixtermrc         fallback command file
           ~/lib/multixterm/       default command file directory


           If multixterm is killed using an uncatchable kill, the xterms  are  not
           killed.  This appears to be a bug in xterm itself.
           The    latest    version    of    multixterm    is    available    from
  .  If your version of  Expect
           and  Tk are too old (see REQUIREMENTS above), download a new version of
           Expect from


           April 30, 2002


           Don Libes <>


           Multixterm is in the public domain; however the author would appreciate
           acknowledgement if multixterm or parts of it or ideas from it are used.
                                    16 August 2002                   MULTIXTERM(1)

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